After months of delays, GoFirst is likely to receive over 20 Pratt and Whitney engines by the end of this month, according to people in the know. The development follows the grounding of at least 12 A320 neo aircraft over the past several months.
The current version of the Pratt and Whitney engines had been causing multiple snags for the airline. This had led to a probe by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The upgraded versions of the PW1100G geared turbofan engines will be now used for the A320 neo aircraft.
Drop in market share
“For the past few months, at least 12 aircraft were grounded. Pratt and Whitney will deliver the engines by the end of this month, which will help the airline to add more capacity,” one of the two people said. Pratt and Whitney and GoFirst did not respond to BusinessLine’s query.
GoFirst’s market share had dropped from 10.5 per cent in April to 8.2 per cent in July. Its load factor, too, dropped from 11.9 lakh passengers to 7.95 lakh passengers between April and July, according to the DGCA.
GoFirst has been in the process of retiring its CEO aircraft and inducting A320 Neos instead. This month too, it has taken delivery of the A320 Neo. In October and December as well, the airline will take delivery of two Neo each. Currently, it has 53 A320 Neos and 5 CEOs, taking its fleet total to 58.
Back to square one
GoFirst was looking at an IPO and had even got approvals in 2021 from market regulator SEBI. However, due to Covid and the Russia-Ukraine war, the Wadia Group-owned airline decided to postpone it. In due course of this, it crossed the one-year deadline on August 26.
This means the airline will have to now refile the Draft Red Herring Prospectus (DRHP). Sources have said the company still plans to raise ₹3,600 crore from the IPO.